The Centre for Data Science and Scalable Computing (DSSC) is one of three centres in the Institute of Electronics, Communications, and Information Technology (ECIT) at Queen’s University Belfast. DSSC was constructed in 2016 with the transformation of ECIT to a “Global Research Institute”, an instrument created at Queen’s to underpin the Global Excellence/Local Impact agenda.
DSSC was built on two existing research clusters. The High-Performance and Distributed Computing cluster performed research in high-performance computing systems software, hardware and applications. The Knowledge and Data Engineering cluster specialized in data engineering, knowledge representation and learning. Over time, the focus has shifted towards Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Merging these clusters in one centre provides rich opportunities for collaboration, which have become more pronounced over time and are topical to recent initiatives such as the Belfast Region City Deal and the AI Competence Centre.
Our mission & values
Our mission is to conduct world-class core research in data science and computing systems that underpins multi-disciplinary research and delivers societal impact through education, technology transfer, and industry collaboration.
DSSC primarily conducts core research in data science and scalable computing and actively seeks to apply and inform this research through multi-disciplinary collaborations. The centre maintains active collaborations with medical sciences, biological sciences and food security, built environment, aeronautic and mechanical engineering, quantum technologies, law and political sciences. This broad set of collaborations underlines the critical role that data science and scalable computing play in these and other disciplines, as well as the many important societal, ethical and legal issues that technological advances such as AI create. The centre co-runs the internally funded doctoral training programme on Secure Connected Intelligent Design and Manufacturing and is a key participant in the Leverhulme Interdisciplinary Network on Algorithmic Solutions, which explores issues of governance, accountability, and scientific reproducibility of AI.
DSSC has a long experience of industry collaboration and impact, both through government-sponsored collaborations (e.g., Knowledge Transfer Partnerships) and industry-contracted applied research. The centre benefits direct industry sponsorship of core research through PhD studentships and collaborative research projects. The expertise of the centre is sought after by local industry on topics relating to artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). DSSC is leading on creating the Artificial Intelligence Competence Centre (AICC), set to receive funding from the Department for the Economy with a £1.8m value to Queen’s. Collaborations in scalable computing concern both high-end computing capability and low-end efficient usage of resource-constrained devices. A long tradition in high-performance computing underpins DSSC’s lead on the Kelvin-2 Northern Ireland High-Performance Computing Centre, funded by a £2.1m infrastructure grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). The £750k Rakuten Mobile Edge Computing Hub explores novel technologies and organisations for distributed networked systems.